US Immigration Options – What Is Available?

With all of the uncertainty in South Africa presently, many South Africans are investigating US immigration options.

There has never been a more opportune time for South Africans to look for visa and Green Card opportunities in the USA. Now is the time to see if you or your family and friends in South Africa will qualify for a visa for the USA.

There are a number of different visa categories that may be applied for if you are eligible:

  1. The L-1 visa allows applicants who either own a business or have been employed in a senior capacity in a business in SA ( or elsewhere) and the business is at least 2 years old, to set up a branch/subsidiary in the USA. This will enable the applicant to come across to the USA to set up and operate the branch/subsidiary in the USA and to live and work in the USA with his family.
  2. The EB-5 visa allows applicants who are able to invest the sum of $500 000 in a Regional Center in the USA (the investment needs to remain for 3-4 years) to effectively “buy” a Green Card (U.S. permanent residence) for them and their family.
  3. The H-1 visa allows for professional people who have an offer of employment to come and live and work in the USA for that employer.
  4. Labor certifications and Green Cards – It is possible to be sponsored directly for a Green Card by a prospective employer in the USA by going through a process called labor certification. This process may take 2-3 years to come to fruition but may certainly be worth your while.
  5. Family petitions – U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents can petition for certain immediate relatives to come to the USA, including parents, siblings and children.
  6. Student visas and trainee visas are among the other categories that may be available.

These are the most common US immigration options available at present. As a rule, people’s situations vary, therefore it is best to speak to an immigration attorney to discuss your particular situation and find the best solution for you.

About the Author: Grant Kaplan is a US immigration attorney, originally from South Africa, and based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is available 24 hours per day for emergencies. Their U.S. services cover all aspects of immigration, including business related visas, family petitions, asylum and removal based matters, spousal abuse, naturalization and all other matters. You may contact him at or (561) 347-8440.


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